Photo by Elle Polychronis
At first glance, Burning Rice looks like any other local restaurant, but that’s not the case for this Korean eatery.
This restaurant is located in multiple areas, but I went to the Burning Rice location at 6106 Luther Lane in Preston Center.
I was recommended by sophomore McKinley Meece to try out this restaurant, and I figured I would go try it out with my friend, sophomore Jessica Wu.
“I found out about Burning Rice randomly,” Meece said. “I had always seen it in Preston Center, but I never went in. One day, me and my friend, Kate Denton, wanted to try it out, so we went and ordered, not knowing what kind of food they served and what it tasted like.”
I walked into the restaurant, and it was bright because of the large windows, allowing for sunshine to stream in.
I saw the menu up above the counter, and it consisted of make-your-own bowl ingredients. First, you start with the type of bowl. People can either get a regular bowl or a hot stone bowl. The hot stone bowl is meant to keep the meal hot and the rice crispy, while the regular bowl doesn’t.
Next, you choose the type of rice. The restaurant offers a choice of white rice, brown rice, veggie rice or kimchi rice. White rice, brown rice and veggie rice are just what they sound like, but kimchi rice is rice mixed with kimchi and other vegetables.
After choosing your rice, you choose a protein to go in the bowl. The options are bulgogi, spicy bulgogi, garlic pork tender, spicy garlic pork tender, BBQ chicken, spicy chicken, pan seared tofu, LA galbi, BBQ shrimp, spicy shrimp, crispy chicken or crispy pork. Bulgogi is a type of Korean beef and LA galbi is a type of Korean rib.
Next comes veggie toppings. Patrons can get zucchini, bean sprouts, broccoli, carrots, fish cakes, kimchi, japchae, corn kernels, nori seaweed or crispy onion flakes. Japchae is a type of potato noodle.
After that, you choose the type of egg topping. The egg choices range from sunny-side-up, over easy, well done or scrambled.
Finally, you choose a sauce. BBQ sauce, spicy BBQ sauce, spicy sesame sauce or gochujang sauce are all offered on Burning Rice’s menu.
I created my bowl – a regular bowl with white rice, bulgogi, japchae and a sunny-side-up egg on top.
When my food was ready, it came in a black bowl and the ingredients were visible, including the sunny side up egg. The ingredients looked fresh and the smell of smoky beef emitted from the bowl.
I grabbed my fork and took a bite from my bowl. The bulgogi had a sweet and smoky taste to it and it was tender. The egg was salty and had a silky texture along with crispy edges. The japchae were smooth, sweet and easy to eat. The white rice had a neutral flavor, complimenting the other ingredients. Everything tasted like one big flavor and sweetness and savory and I thought it would never end.
Inside the restaurant, I heard songs like “Party In The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus and “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry as I ate. It gave me a nostalgic feeling, making the food taste even better.
Burning Rice’s variety of choices offers something for everyone.
Meece’s order was a hot stone bowl with white rice, tofu, carrots, a sunny-side-up egg and nora seaweed, while Denton’s order was a regular bowl with garlic pork, white rice, carrots and a scrambled egg.
“The food is really good, and I always really enjoy it,” Denton said. “It is always really healthy.”
The hiring manager from Corporate Human Resources, Evan Christianson, even has a favorite order. His is a regular bowl with kimchi rice, LA Galbi, all the toppings and a scrambled egg.
Christianson enjoys working at Burning Rice and says the people he works with make the working environment enjoyable.
“The team is awesome,” Christianson said. “It’s great to work for a company that I believe in.”
The service was great, and customers can count on the waiters bringing out the food within a reasonable time.
“The experience is very chill, all of the workers are so sweet and the food comes out quickly, hot and fresh,” Meece said.
This restaurant is a great place for all ages and a great place to hang out with friends and family any day of the week.
“Korean food is something we’d love everyone to try,” Christianson said. “I think as soon as you try it, you’ll love it.”